Monday, February 25, 2008

Hammond Trail

Distance: 23.3 out-and-back
Climbing: 500 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Start: Arcata

Looking for an easy low traffic ride? This ride is perfect for someone new to the area and forms a basic route to further adventures on the north coast. The ride heads out to the Arcata bottoms and up the Hammond trail for an easy low traffic out-and-back of 23 miles with only 500 feet of climbing. During the ride you will explore the dairy land of the Arcata bottoms which often hosts many migratory birds. You will cross over the Mad River where you may be lucky enough to see salmon spawing, a river otter playing, or a blue heron fishing for dinner. One negative aspect of the ride is the potential for cow pies in the road and numerous pot holes on the roads in the Arcata bottoms.

Detailed Route

0- Start at the Arcata Quad, located at the intersection of G Street and 8th Street. Head north on G Street from the Arcata Plaza. You will pass several good places to eat including, but not limited to, Cafe Brio, Big Blue Cafe, Jitter Bean coffee, and Golden Harvest Cafe. You also will pass the Outdoor Store (876 G Street) and Adventure's Edge (650 10th Street) where you can get bike supplies.

0.15- Left on 11th Street. Another recommended food stop is Los Bagels. You need to turn left from 11th to 1061 I street. Proceed west on 11th Street.

1.01- Turn right at Janes Rd. This is the point where you will begin to see less traffic and experience more rural surroundings.

1.51- Turn left at Foster Ave. You are truly in the Arcata bottoms now.

2.33- Turn right at Seidel Rd

3.34- Turn right at Lamphere Rd

3.85- Turn left at Mad River Rd

6.31- As the road begins to curve left, continue straight up and over the bridge on the Mad River. I have seen salmon spawning, river otters, and various birds. It is hard not to stop and take a look up or down the river. After leaving the bridge, you will hit a short but steep climb.

7.13- Stop sign at the intersection of School and Fischer Roads. The Hammond Trail starts on right side of road just past the intersection. Be careful of driveways. For some reason the Pacific Coast bike route heads east on School road, rather than up the Hammond Trail.

7.64- Cross Hiller Rd and continue straight.

7.78- Hiller Park. There is a playground, bathroom, water, and picnic site here. This is a good stop for the family.

8.44- Cross Knox Cove Rd to continue on the trail.

8.68- Right to stay on paved trail.

8.73- Merge onto Murray Rd for a short way

8.98- Left to continue on trail before Highway 101 interchange. This portion of the trail was completed during the summer of 2007. Prior to this, the only option was to ride north on Highway 101.

9.28- Continue straight on Letz Road.

9.86- Continue straight at the stop sign on Letz Rd. If you want to avoid the gravel section of the Hammond trail, you will need to get on Highway 101 North here.

10- Continue on the trail at the end of Letz Rd

10.26- Start of gravel section. Be careful on this section of gravel which is fairly fine and well packed, but can be rough on standard road tires. There are plans to pave this section, but as of March 1, 2008, it remains gravel.

11.65- End of trail. Head back the way you came retracing your steps. If you want to continue riding, I recommend you head north on Clam Beach road and continue north to Trinidad. Scenic Drive along the coast is one of the most beautiful rides on the north coast.

Here is a link to ride data and google map via Garmin Connect

Below is a map from Clicking on the map will direct you to the website where you can view the map through Google Earth or download a Garmin Course or GPX file. You can also print the map with notes.

Click below for a route sheet:
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